Objectives: To examine whether the frequency of fusion-negative alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMSn) increased coincident with changes in the definition of alveolar histology. Methods: We re-reviewed alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) in the Children's Oncology Group study D9803, comparing histopathology with fusion status. Results: Our review of 255 original ARMS cases (compared with a control group of 38 embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas [ERMS] cases) revealed that many had an ARMS-like densely cellular pattern with cytologic features and myogenin expression more typical of ERMS. Following re-review, 84 (33%) cases of original ARMS were rediagnosed as ERMS. All reclassified ERMS, including dense ERMS, were fusion negative, whereas 82% of confirmed ARMS cases were fusion positive. Total ARMS diagnoses returned to historic rates of 25% to 30% of all rhabdomyosarcomas, and ARMSn decreased from 37% to 18% of ARMS cases. The outcome of reclassified ERMS was similar to confirmed ERMS. Conclusions: To address the role of fusion status in risk stratification, pathologists should include both a histologic diagnosis and an evaluation of fusion status for all new ARMS diagnoses.
- Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma
- Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma
- Histologic classification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine